What do you do when your 7-year-old looks up at you, eyes wide, and asks, “Mommy, what’s a strip club?”
When this happened in my home, my initial reaction was to ask him where he heard of a strip club. He told me he had heard about strip clubs on The Simpsons (which he’d been watching on Disney+) I also asked him what he thought a strip club was.
After I heard his answers to my questions, I told him that a strip club is a place where women dance for money.
I do realize that my answer is not precisely accurate and leaves a lot unsaid. I definitely could have come up with a more clear and more detailed answer, but when put on the spot, that can be difficult!
In hindsight, there are a few things I wish I had done differently:
1. Set Parental Controls
I had no parental control or age restrictions set on Disney+ because, being that it was Disney, I assumed it was all appropriate for children. I have since then realized this is not the case and adjusted our parental controls.
2. Watched the Simpsons
When I knew my kids were watching the Simpsons on a regular basis and I started to hear some of the things they were saying, I should have sat down and watched a few episodes to see if it was, in fact, inappropriate for their age. My memory of the show from my childhood seems to be faulty (either that or the show has gotten much worse over the years.)
3. Taken Time to Think Before Reacting
When my son initially asked the question, I could have been more mindful of my reaction to his question. I should not have implied through my reaction that he was in trouble or that what he asked was bad. I am fortunate that my son comes to me with these questions and, as he gets older, I don’t want that dynamic between us to change.
Has your child ever asked you a question that stopped you in your tracks? We’d love to hear about it! Share your story in the comments.